Who or what was the inspiration for your story in Metastasis?
My inspiration for “Alchemical Warfare” was my friend Karen Spencer, who had leukemia. At the time Rhonda put out the call for submissions, I was spending a lot of time visiting Karen at Memorial Sloan-Kettering, during the third of her several-month-long hospitalizations for chemo treatments. This was the third and last, because she’d developed a fungal pneumonia. I couldn’t come up any ideas for the book, so I put the idea completely aside. Karen knew I was working on reviving a children’s book about dragons that I’d dropped a long time ago. In despair one day she said, “Make me a dragon to fight the leukemia.” I wish I could have. Instead, I was able to make her a story. Karen died on September 1st, just before Metastasis became available. But she did read and enjoy my story, making sure to correct my mistake of placing Recreation on the wrong floor.
How has cancer touched your life?
I’ve known a lot of people with cancer, mostly stories with good endings. Two childhood friends, and one college friend, had breast cancer but early detection has kept them healthy. Another childhood friend has a sister with lung cancer, currently undergoing treatment. Yet another childhood friend has been treated for colon cancer and is in remission.
When it comes to cancer, what gives you hope?
I am hopeful that scientists are coming up with new treatments and technology for early detection every day. I’d like to see cancer wiped out utterly in my lifetime.
Sandi Leibowitz has been the Sands Point hag, a medieval psaltery-player, a fundraiser ghostwriting for a Monsignor, a secretary at the Museum of Natural History working behind the caribou diorama and a school librarian. She is a native New Yorker whose speculative fiction and poetry appears in Mythic Delirium, Goblin Fruit, Strange Horizons, Niteblade and other far-out places. She has been known to consort with dragons.
Metastasis is available at:
ePub – $6.95
Paperback – $14.95